Friday, August 13, 2004

Just Call Me Rip Van Winkle

Just Call Me Rip Van Winkle
13 August 2004

I guess that more than I realized has been happening around here; I've just been sleeping through it all. I kind of knew that something was going on during the day on Wednesday. I woke up or got woke up several times to hear jets far overhead and helicoptors buzzing the trees and trailer-tops of Dodge South. It didn't let up any on Wednesday night, Thursday day or Thursday night either. All this stuff going on in Najaf has to be supported from somewhere somehow.

Today, Lee was telling me that a stray bullet went through his trailer and another trailer next door to his about midnight last night. He lives at the far end of Dodge South. Then, just a little while ago, Thomas was showing me a picture of a trailer that was hit by a mortar or rocket last night over at ISG (across the highway from Victory). Originally I heard that 4 KBR people were killed. Now I hear that only one was injured, no deaths.

Then this afternoon, as I stepped out of the trailer to go to shower, I heard what sounded like a rocket or rpg go off. It sounded like it was off to the west of Victory, probably over at BIAP. Whatever it was must have found its mark because by the time I got out of the shower, there was a black cloud rising from the area over by BIAP. Come to find out that a fuel bladder was hit by a rocket. They put out the fire quickly as the smoke went from black to white.

I don't feel like I'm in danger, I'm just surprised at how quickly things have escalated. It is almost a sure bet that the Iraqis would rather us not be here. Just our activities lately seems only to incite anger and riots. Even at the Haji shop (you know, the antique one with the cool antiquities (like that cuneiform bowl about the size of a small cereal bowl) that I wanted but didn't buy (General Order # whatever) and metal plates that I did buy before I left for Qatar) last week, the woman that is usually so friendly was a bit cold and distant to us when we walked into the shop. But, the powers that be believe that our soldiers need to be seen to remind the free people of Iraq that they are still an occupied country.

Since we have backed off today in Najaf, we will have to wait and see if the rioting and mortars calm down some. I guess the one good thing about working nights is that I'm in a brick/block building while all or most of the projectiles are flying. I'm just surprised at how oblivious I have been to this sudden escalation until now. I've just been sleeping through life with no cares in the world. Maybe that's the only way to deal with this whole thing right now. I'm leaving on vacation in five days...don't even think of screwing with my vacation!
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